Our next event

October 2019: Future Proof Your Career in Publishing

Thursday 3rd October
6:30pm Drinks / 7:00 - 8:30pm Talks

Oxford Brookes University (Gipsy Lane Campus) - Room CLC1.12 (Clerici Learning Studio)
Free to OPuS member/ Non-Members £10

  • How easy is it to progress in publishing and move between market sectors and different roles?
  • What are the key elements you need to build your career?

Focusing on their own specific work experience in moving onwards and upwards from entry level jobs, three speakers from a wide range of companies will give a unique insight into the diverse profession loosely referred to as “publishing”.

Come along and hear about different ways you can develop within the industry and beyond – and join in the discussion.

Reserve your place on Eventbrite now: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/future-proof-your-career-in-publishing-tickets-74088160683?aff=eac2

• Kim Wiles – Senior Product Manager, RM Education
• Simone Drinkwater, Vice President of Business Development, Casemate Group
• Alexandra Shakespeare, Senior Lecturer in Publishing, Oxford Brookes University

This event is sponsored by Atwood Tate.



August 2019: Summer Party - joint event with SYP Oxford

We had a great time catching up with our colleagues from across the Publishing community at  The Jam Factory

SYP Oxford and OPUS Summer Party


July 2019: Author Event 'Bart van Es, The Cut Out Girl'

An evening with Bart van Es

Author of 2018 Costa Book of the Year, The Cut Out Girl

‘After the war, the life that these hideaways had brought to the families was missing. Each girl had been imagined as a daughter or a sister only to vanish without so much as a farewell. They could not have known it, but these cut out girls left holes behind.’

For our annual author event, we welcome the author, Professor Bart Van Es for a talk on the book, and his personal journey into his family’s past and his country’s history. The Cut Out Girl is the extraordinary true story of a young Jewish girl in Holland during World War II, who hides from the Nazis in the homes of an underground network of foster families, one of them the author's grandparents.

In this talk, the author will describe the evolution of his prize-winning book from its first conception, including his conversations with publishers and the book trade.

Thursday 11th July

Drinks 6.30pm

Talk 7pm


Headington Hill Hall

(Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus)


Free to OPuS members / £10 non-members

Register now on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/opus-event-an-evening-with-bart-van-es-author-of-the-cut-out-girl-tickets-62317055992#


Past Events

March 2019: 'Open Access: Who Pays?'

Everyone has heard of open access, but how many of us really understand how it works?

Gold open access research now accounts for 20% of the world’s research output, and it’s growing – fast. At the same time, pressure from various stakeholders means publishing models are also evolving. What makes journals ‘compliant’? What about author choice? Where does the money come from, where does it end up, and why?

Our highly knowledgeable panel discussed the drivers of open access in its wider context of open research, unpicked the myriad deals and models made and implemented (or in some cases not) by publishers, and debated some of the movement’s potential limitations, alongside its benefits.

Our speakers were:

• Lucy Oates, Publisher, Open Access, OUP
• Miriam Maus, VP, Editorial Management, Wiley
• Michael Brown, Consultant on STM publishing strategy and innovation

This event was sponsored by Westchester Publishing Services



OPuS AGM - 7th February 2019

Our AGM was held on Thursday February 7th ahead of our Audiobooks event - more details including the full minutes  are available on the AGM section of the website.


February 2019: Audiobooks: The Saviours of publishing or just a good listen?

Our first event of 2019 was a fascinating look at the exponential growth of the audiobooks industry, with a varied and highly knowledgeable panel of speakers discussing their experiences and views of this rapidly changing sector.

The recent boom in audiobook sales is welcome news for the book industry and this sector is now said to be the fastest-growing area of consumer publishing. According to the PA, spending on audiobooks has more than doubled in the past five years, agents are reporting greater competition to retain audio rights when negotiating new deals, and some publishers are developing their own dedicated audiobook imprints.

Where does the industry go next? What should publishers be doing to capitalise on the opportunity and take advantage of the growing range of models and retail channels available for audio?


Our speakers (picture below with our event chair, James Harrison) were:

Jo Forshaw, Freelance Audiobook Publishing Expert

Having previously tinkered with audio as an agent, a retailer and then programmer for a wee radio station, Jo Forshaw ran the audio publishing team at HarperCollins until 2017. Taking HarperCollins from 80 titles a year to audio editions of pretty much every print title across HC via the infamous Total Audio project, Jo has overseen thousands of audiobooks, created partnerships with retailers and publishers and driven revenue up massively. Now a freelance consultant, she advises on everything audio, from strategy and programme planning and to casting and recording.

Catherine O'Brien, Chief Executive, Essential AudioBooks LLC (New York)

Essential Audiobooks was launched at the beginning of June 2016 and publishes audio editions of classic and modern literature as well as children's books. Working from their own studios to create audiobooks of the highest technical and artistic quality, their skilled and experienced narrators and producers bring the greatest classics of literature vividly to life, complete and unabridged, exactly as they were written by some of the world's finest authors.

Sylvia Vetta, Author

Sylvia is an Oxford-based author who has had an audiobook made of her first novel (by Essential Audiobooks) Brushstrokes in Time (Claret Press) and has a new book Sculpting the Elephant (Claret Press) due to be released in March 2019.


November 2018: Publishing in China - What's Next?

Our November speaker event, in collaboration with the Confucius Institute at Oxford Brookes was a lively discussion about the future of the Chinese publishing industry – and what it means for the UK publishers who want to access it.

With a population of over 1.4 billion people, China is the biggest market in the world – and with the book market estimated at over £14 billion, this means big business for publishers. With the organisers of the Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF) reporting an increase of 30% in the number of publishing professionals attending this year, international publishers are clearly keen to get a piece of the action.

Our speakers were:

Angus Phillips, Head of the School of Arts and Director of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies and The Confucius Institute, Oxford Brookes

James McCall, Visiting Lecturer and Professor in International Publishing at various Chinese universities and consultant to donor agencies and governments on textbook publishing policy

Su Yen Hu, Director of Snowflake Books, an Oxford-based independent publisher of children's books drawn from ancient Chinese fairy stories and legends, with full texts in English and Chinese


September 2018: Careers in 21st Century Publishing

Our September event was a lively and fascinating discussion about how to develop a career in the publishing sector - from getting entry level positions, to moving between different roles, to looking for opportunities outside of the traditional publishing company. Our trio of speakers, Ian Campsall (Elsevier), Aaron O’Dowling-Keane (Sherlock: The Game is Now) and Saskia Watts (Vitalsource/Ingram) - pictured below - had some great insights on skills building and career development, based on their own varied experiences of the industry - as well as touching on the importance of a healthy work-life balance.

Our amazing sponsors, Atwood Tate wrote a blog post where you can read more about the event: https://blog.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/21st-century-publishing-careers-oxford/ 


August 2018: OPuS and SYP (Society of Young Publishers) Joint Summer Party


May 2018: Bookselling Today - Different Perspectives


March 2018: Securing Trust and Reliability in Scholarly Publishing


February 2018: Letting Books Be Books: Breaking Gender Barriers in Children's Publishing



December 2017: Eat, Drink and Be Merry Christmas Party with Bookmachine


November 2017: The Future of Illustrated Publishing

You can read more about the event on the Oxford Brookes Publishing blog: https://publishing.brookes.ac.uk/blog/article/the_future_of_illustrated_publishing/